How and what a cow eats should not remain a secret behind seven locks for beginning breeders. To maintain the good appearance of cattle, there is a huge amount of plants that nature itself provides. But a lot of special feed additives have been created by human hands over hundreds of years of housekeeping, allowing to regulate the development of individual branches of animal husbandry. From our article you will learn where the cows get their vitality and get acquainted with the technology of their feeding.
The main types of feed
The pasture feeding system for livestock has long sunk into oblivion. And once it was the only one, and the cows supported the forces only by the grass growing in the meadows. Time gone far ahead, opened new horizons. Concentrates based on various grains or legumes, roots, melons and even brewer's grain are used.
The entire range used for feeding cows can be divided into four main groups:
- grain (or concentrated feed);
- juicy food (contain a lot of liquid);
- coarse (dried herbal plants);
- food waste food industries.
From what quality this whole set will be, and in what proportions the feeding of cattle is organized, the result obtained for the output of meat or milk from a cow directly depends.
Protein Suppliers for Cows
Cereal products include cereal seeds: wheat, oats, barley. Without them, it is impossible to imagine the diet of a modern cow. However, as food, it is rarely given to pure cows. Usually try to mix with legumes.
The goal is to balance the amount of protein (digested protein) contained in plants, which is necessary for building muscle. In itself, the grain does not contain it too much. For example, in one oat fodder unit is only 75 g. But for the same measure of soybeans it’s already several times more - 200 g. By the way, the brewer's grains obtained after the brewing process are not inferior to legumes in protein content.
Seeds of cereals are used in all types of cow feeding.
Knowing the high nutritional value of peas, soybeans and beans, farmers are trying to give more to their cattle when they want to increase their milk yield.
Bran, cake (seed residue after oil extraction) and meal (seeds after extracting fat) also belong to concentrated feed. They are valuable sources of protein in the cow.
In the fresh air - fresh greens
The succulent feeds that feed the cows are represented in modern animal husbandry by a very wide range. First of all, it is fresh green grass, which becomes available to the cow in spring, summer and autumn, when it is actively thrown out to graze in the meadows.
The usual pasture grass is a real storehouse of vitamins, especially young. However, wild land every year becomes less and less. In practice, cows are more often grazed on specially prepared pastures, and not all of them are sown on them. Specialists, in accordance with the peculiarities of the climatic zone, select special mixtures. Some are suitable for meat breeds, others for feeding lactating cows, others are used for calves.
Eating in the fresh air animals in full receive all the necessary vitamins and minerals. During the day, a cow can eat up to 100 kg of green mass.
Green fodder for cattle in the territories of Russia, where forests predominate, is obtained from planting such grasses as timothy grass, fescue, and horned lyvvinets. Particular attention to the bluegrass, as it is very resistant to winter cold, and most importantly - it is almost impossible to trample down with hoofs. Such properties make it "unkillable."
In the steppe zones, sainfoin and blue alfalfa are used for sowing. In the arid regions of the south, the grass mixture consists of yellow alfalfa, a tributary, a rootless wheatgrass.
With great pleasure, a cow and white clover that is rich in protein eat. Its landings are usually mixed with pasture ryegrass. It is very well digested in the stomach. This union of leguminous and cereal grasses is very useful for milch cows.
Almost all meadow herbs can be used in the production of silage, that is, canned for the winter. As a result, livestock continue to receive the necessary phosphorus, carotene and calcium with feed throughout the year.
The benefits of vegetables
Juicy feeds also include garden plants with edible ground and underground parts. In order for the cows to eat zucchini, pumpkin and cabbage well, it is better to give them along with dry feed. All vegetables need to be washed and cleaned. And animals love cabbage even in a sour form.
Vegetable set of feed for cows includes roots - carrots, beets, turnips, topinabmur. These plants improve appetite, but their excess is dangerous. For example, beets can disrupt digestion if it is in the diet of more than 20 kg.
If in doubt, can you give raw potatoes to a cow, then your fears are in vain. The main thing - do not overdo it. From 8 to 10 kg of raw tubers per day will be quite enough top dressing containing starch and other useful trace elements.
Experts say that daily eating potatoes improves milk yield by 10-15%. No less beneficial will bring and pumpkin, which gives cow's milk a pleasant color and creamy oily taste.
Blanks for winter
Now we will tell about what cows eat in winter. In the cold season, when pasture walking is impossible, in large quantities they are given hay. Dried grass in the summer sun retains up to 30-40% of useful properties and is a good help for feeding for this period. With proper drying technology, it is well kept until spring.
There is the so-called gumenny group of feed (straw). It includes dry stalks of various cereal crops - barley, oats, and wheat. These are the remnants of threshing cultivated plants. Among them may be the stalks of flax or hemp, but without leaves.
This group cannot boast with a high content of protein, such as beer grains, but there is a lot of fiber useful for cows. This type of feeding, given the dryness of the product, involves soaking or steaming it before use. You can add straw to the feed or succulent feed, but does not exclude the use and in a purely dry form. One cow per day is enough 5 kg of dry stems, but the branches of the conifers that make up the weight should not exceed 2 kg.
Invented by man: silage and haylage
The development of animal husbandry for many centuries has taught people to prepare feed for cows for future use in order to use them as needed. The silo concerns to such. For its production use grass, vegetables, along with leaves, sunflower, corn, food waste - bagasse, pulp. All ingredients are ground and fermented in special silage pits.
Canning takes place without air access, which allows the received feed to be stored for a long time. At the same time, not only the calorie content of each plant used is saved, but also the vitamin C and carotene contained in them.
Among roughage, except for straw, we note haylage. This product is obtained after using the curing process, which man invented to increase the shelf life of the grass. This is done at 50% moisture, after which the food is preserved in hermetically sealed containers. For the production of haylage they use bean crops that are loved by cows, but they are not very suitable for ensiling. The consumption rate of haylage per cow per day is 10-12 kg.
Feed: beneficial and useful
Peculiarities of feeding highly productive cows dictate to farmers a prerequisite - to include in the feed feed. And not only in the winter, but in the summer too. First of all, it is economically advantageous. On average, the daily rate for one cow is 4 kg.
When cows use mixed feeds, milk yield and desired weight remain high or increase, and the amount of eaten grain decreases. For the manufacture of animal feed using special production capacity. The process consists in cleaning and grinding the seeds of cereals - oats, wheat, barley. Meal or cake is also added here. And be sure to vitamin supplements, minerals and salt.
Forms of release of such feed are of several types. You can use any, regardless of whether the product is loose, granular or packaged in briquettes. However, in their intended purpose, they are different, so you need to carefully look at which cows this feed is intended for.
Concentrates as an addition
In compound feeds should be allocated to full. But for cows, they cannot be the only food, although they contain all the necessary nutrients, minerals and dietary supplements. When describing these feeds are marked with the letters "P" and "K".
As an addition to the diet, special concentrates are also used. Their marking index is KK, and they include bran, meal, grain. The amount of consumption depends on the yield. If a buren gives 10 liters of milk per day, then the daily rate will be approximately 3.5 kg.
Concentrate type of feeding involves the preparation of various cereals and mash. In this form, the entire composition of the product is very well absorbed by cows, giving them energy and replenishing protein stores. The volume is very important middle ground. If a burenka eats a large amount of the mixture, she can develop dangerous diseases - timpani or acidosis. Therefore, concentrated feed should be given to the cow carefully.
One of the types of feed are balancing additives. These include - vitamin, protein, mineral. As well as various premixes, yeast and malt.
Alfalfa and barley in the cow's diet
In modern animal husbandry, concentrates often replace mono-feed. In its composition there are hay, various types of grain, and maybe silage and straw. The main principle is constant proportions, that is, a single composition (hence the name).
The most important grass in monocorm is alfalfa. Barley is on the second place, but it should be used only in the stage of milky ripeness. Then this cereal has the right nutrient content.
The manufacturing process involves mowing plants, drying to a state of 17% moisture, assembling into bales, grinding into flour. The resulting product may well replace any concentrate, has the ability to increase the cow's milk yield and has a positive effect on the growth of young cattle.
Let us give the quality indicators of a monoform made of alfalfa, based on 0.61 feed units:
Use of food waste
The types of feeding cows are developed taking into account the climatic zones in which the cattle are located. When drafting a diet, specialists take into account the energy value of each product included in the menu. Also important is the physiological state of animals for a certain life period.
For example, the technology of feeding a cow during deadwood is different from feeding after calving. Before childbirth usually do not give foods that contain a lot of calcium. Excessive content of this element in the body leads to paresis. You can learn more about these topics in the articles “Rules for feeding dry cows” and “Feeding dairy and pregnant cows”.
As for the specific fattening of animals for meat, the brewer's grain, which we mentioned above, is indispensable in the diet. And although the views of livestock breeders in its use diverge, you cannot get away from the facts. Rich in protein and fiber, the product is well absorbed by the stomach, especially useful for highly productive cows.
Suitable beer pellet and for ensiling. For this purpose, special trenches are used, where the required amount of mass is laid and compacted. To make the composition more dry, straw is added.
To make calves grow fast
In the fight against diseases of cattle in the diet used feed antibiotics. They are prepared in an industrial way. Their composition usually contains grizin and bacitracin, externally represent a powder of yellow or brown color. These substances are added to the compound feed, which increases the body's resistance to cows with diseases. The positive effect of chlortetracycline is also known.
Antibiotics are often used to accelerate the growth of young calves, but this should be done under the supervision of specialists. Only rational use of them can benefit by reducing the time for feeding the young and reducing the cost of rearing. For adult lactating cows and breeding bulls, it is better not to use such agents.
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